Skip to main content
Press Release

Charleston Felon Sentenced to Federal Prison for Gun Crime

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Charleston felon who possessed a firearm in August 2017 was sentenced yesterday to five years in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Vincent Deward Beatty, 40, previously pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.  U.S. Attorney Stuart commended the investigation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT).

“As part of our ongoing efforts to reduce violent crime in our communities, my office is working with ATF and other law enforcement partners, to aggressively prosecute convicted felons that possess firearms,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “I strongly support the Second Amendment but convicted felons have forfeited the right to bear arms.”

On August 7, 2017, Beatty sold a Smith & Wesson .22 caliber pistol to an MDENT confidential informant for $200.  Beatty admitted at his plea hearing that he had the gun in his possession at the time of the sale.  Beatty is prohibited from possessing any firearms under federal law because of a 2007 felony conviction for aggravated assault in Union County, New Jersey. 

Assistant United States Attorney Matt Davis was in charge of the prosecution. United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, handed down the sentence.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.


  1. Follow us on Twitter: SDWVNews  


Updated April 19, 2018

Project Safe Neighborhoods